Munterconnaught Junior Champions 1994
Munterconnaught (pronounced Mweenterconnaught) is typical of any other amateur sports club in the country.
Gaelic football may be their chosen discipline, but like any club its success is conditional on the hard work, determination and resourcefulness of its individual members.
It is clear that football in some shape or form, was being played in the Munterconnaught area for some time prior to the establishment of the GAA in 1884.
John Hetherton of Ballydurrow related that from about 1860 and for some years afterwards, there was a great football team in Munterconnaught, known as the Connaught Rangers.
The players were described as "very strong, heavy men from all the district around". Among the players at that time were Pat Carroll, Michael Carroll, Tom, Ned and Pat Fitzsimons, Tom Keogan, Willie, Tom and Michael Hetherton of Eighter, Glennons, McCabes of Beherna, Lynches and Mulvanys of Crohan.
Another man who may have played on this team was Dick Hetherton of Eighter, who was noted for his athleticism and for his feats of strength.
The Connaught Rangers were captained for some years by a man named Pat Donnelly who lived at the rock of Crohan.
There were many rough matches between this team and another notable team, the Maghera MacFinns, also between them and Milesians of Virginia Road and Stonefield.
Generally they played seventeen men at a time on each side but on occasions, the numbers were increased to twenty-three on each side.
On one occasion they travelled to Drogheda to play the Drogheda Tredaghs for a set of jerseys and a football. The match was a very rough one and many were hurt. It is said that one young man was so badly injured that he died soon afterwards.
Many of the players suffered in later life from lameness which they blamed on injuries sustained by them while playing football. The last of the Connaught Rangers, Pat Carroll, died about the year 1936.
Tradition also mentions Thomas Donnelly of Lurganboy who captained a team of footballers which included the McGuinness and Tuite families of Lurganboy and Knockaraheen.
Matches were played against neighbouring parishes like Oldcastle and the venue was Kavanagh's meadow just across the Meath border in Newcastle.
Similar teams were formed in the Eastern end of the Parish in the Ryefield, Beherna and Ballydurrow areas.
The First County Championship under GAA rules was organised in 1888 and teams from Lurgan, Cross, Virginia, Maghera and Munterconnaught were affiliated.
The Munterconnaught team again went under the name "The Connaught Rangers".
In subsequent years football appears to have declined in the area until the 1920's, when the story of the modern-day Munterconnaught GFC could be said to have begun.
In the commemorative booklet issued on the occasion of the opening of St. Bartholomew's Park in 1988, the late Joseph Gilsenan recalled:
"Young people in these years (1924-25) amused themselves by playing skittles, swimming and playing football, The townlands of Knocknagarton. Knocktemple, Coronagh combined to play against teams drawn from Lurganboy. Beherna and Crohan, The games were played in Peter Skelly's field. Sometimes they played in the "Pond Field' in Coronagh. The eastern end of the 'parish played similar inter-townland games in Michael Plunkett s meadow, in Ballydurrow."
The late Monsignor Thomas Keogan, then a clerical student, was instrumental in organising and affiliating a team. He called a meeting to a little house in Ryefield called "The Shanty", a football team was formed and a committee elected. The committee comprised of the following officers and elected members:
Chairman, Patrick Brady, Ryefield
Vice-Chairman, Patrick Byrne, Island
Secretary, Matt McCabe, Knocknaveigh
Treasurer, Pat Gibney, Beherna
Committee Members: Patrick Gillic, Knockaraheen; John Hetherton, N.T. Ballydurrow; Edward Boylan, Ryefield; Hugh Ennis, Knocktemple; John Conaty, Coronagh; Simon Hetherton, Coronagh; Joseph Gilsenan, Coronagh.
The panel of players comprised: Thomas Hetherton; Patrick Hetherton (twins); Brady brothers Michael and Charlie, Beherna; Laurence McEnroe and his brother, Patrick Beherna; McEnroe brothers, Lawrence, Jack, Matt and Phil, Island; Joseph Boylan, Ryefield; Phil Tormay, Beherna; James Tully. Coronagh; James Hetherton, Coronagh; Joseph Gilsenan, Knocknagarton; Jack Rahill, Ballydurrow; James and Patrick Farrelly, Knocktemple; Donohoe brothers, Gerry and Frank, Knocktemple; Patrick McEnroe, Lurganboy; Patsy Hetherton, Knocknaveigh.
The committee rented a field from Sam Gorman, Ryefield at £4 p/a. The jersey was to be blue with a white V and concerts were held in Crohan AOH Hall to provide funds.
The team was affiliated with Cavan County Board in early 1927 and played in the County Junior Championship.
From its inception, the team showed great talent, skill and a will to win. In 1927 they played 20 matches and won all of them.
They reached the final of the Junior Championship where they played Cornafean who won the title, beating us by a score of 1 - 03 to 0 - 04.
1928 - After losing the Final the previous year, the Club was not to be denied and after clocking up 15 victories, the Club duly captured its first Junior Championship Title after a replay against Lacken Celtic on a score of 2 - 03 to 1 - 03.
The replay was held over to St Patricks Day, 1929 due to heavy snowfall the previous November.
The Team was: Jack Rahill (Captain), Joe Boylan, James Farrelly, P Farrelly, James Hetherton, Pat Hetherton, Tom Hetherton, Pat McEnroe, J Narry, Joe Gilsenan, M Cadden, L McEnroe, Phil McEnroe.
The Club now played in the Senior Championship where they got through to the Final against Cavan Slashers, but unfortunately lost out.
Emigration soon took its toll of players, while some of the remainder transferred to Maghera and Virginia clubs.
Amongst those to do so were Jack Rahill, James Farrelly, James & Pat Hetherton.
The Club tried to struggle on and for the years 1931 to 1936, was only able to field a makeshift junior team which did not compete in any County competitions.
In the 1930's - John Galligan was Chairman and Joseph Gilsenan was Secretary and the Club became competitive again towards the end of the decade.
1938 - The Club reached the Junior Championship Final but were beaten by Cavan Slashers on a score of 2 - 04 to 2 - 0.
The Team was: E Reilly, P McCabe, John Galligan (Captain), Jack McEnroe, Pat Hetherton, Pat Conaty, Patrick McEnroe, Peter Carroll, Patrick Skelly, J Farrelly, Charles Baugh, P Farrelly, Bartle McEnroe, William Farrelly, Patrick Conway.
1945 - The Club reached another Junior Championship Final - we narrowly lost out to Annagh by 2 - 03 to 2 - 02.
The Team was: N Reilly, M Farrelly, J Galligan, P Gibney, J Mulrooney, P McCabe, J Reilly, P Conaty, B McEnroe, N Cunningham, P Carroll, B Skelly, L Hetherton, J Sheridan, B McEnroe.
1949 - After a 21 year gap, we picked up our 2nd Junior Championship Title after defeating Annagh in the Final on a score of 3 - 02 to 0 - 04.
The Team was: Patrick Tuite, Matthew Farrelly, Ambrose Canning, John McGovern, Patrick Farrelly, Patrick McCabe, M O'Donoghue, Patrick Conaty, Ernest Flynn, John McEnroe, Liam Hetherton, Patrick McGovern, Bartle Lynch, Myles Duffy, Patrick (Tot) McGovern.
1952 - We reached the Senior Championship Final but lost out to Bailieboro by 1 - 08 to 1 - 04.
The Team was: Patrick Tuite, Matt Farrelly (Captain), Brian Matthews, Bartle Lynch, Dick McDonnell, Paddy McCabe, Seamus Hetherton, Patrick Conaty, Louis McQuaid, John McEnroe, Patrick McGovern, Liam Hetherton, Myles Duffy, Austin Farrelly, Patrick (Tot) McGovern.
1952 - The Club were victorious in the Senior League when defeating Cavan Slashers by 1 - 09 to 1 - 03 in the Final. The Final was played in February 1953.
The Team was: Patrick Tuite, Matt Farrelly, Brian Matthews, Bartle Lynch, Austin Farrelly, Patrick McCabe, Louis McQuaid, Patrick Conaty, Ernie Flynn, John McEnroe, Liam Hetherton, Myles Duffy, Patrick McGovern, Michael Donohoe, Patrick (Tot) McGovern.
The 1960's were lean years for football in Munterconnaught and the Club was unable to sustain its position in the Senior ranks. Some players transferred to Virginia including Patrick Tuite, John Cadden, Bertie Brady, Sean Hetherton, Patrick Brady, Michael Hetherton, Seamus Hetherton, Michael Caldwell, Brian Hetherton and Tom Whitley.
Subsequently some of these players won Senior Championship honours with Virginia.
Revival of Munterconnaught GFC 1969
The year of 1969 saw the revival of football in Munterconnaught after a lapse of 15 years.
Emigration and finance were the root cause of the break-up of the club in 1954.
In the 1960's a group of young men grew up together in the area. Some of these players played with Castlerahan, Virginia and Oldcastle, while others played no organised football at this time.
In 1968 these players started to get organised and arranged some matches among themselves, the lads from Ballydurrow area would meet the lads from Knocktemple area in local fields in Ballydurrow, Liam Hetherton's and Tom Plunkett's fields were used for the home games, while in Knocktemple the fields belonging to Hugh D. Gilsch were used.
At this time most players cycled to the inter-club matches which usually finished at nightfall on the long summer evenings of 1968.
Many a hard-fought game was played during this period with no quarter given or asked.
A group of football enthusiasts noted the numbers of players participating in these games and decided to do something about getting the club reformed.
A meeting was called at the Old School in November, 1968, and a steering committee was formed to get the club going.
This steering committee was Chairman: Luke Kiernan; Secretary: Paddy McGovern and Treasurer: Liam Hetherton.
There were two major obstacles to be overcome.
First - money was needed to restart the club.
Second - Munterconnaught's best players at the time were involved with other clubs and they would be needed to add experience to the team.
It was agreed that a house to house collection would be taken up and this was an outstanding success with over £300 collected which showed the enthusiasm of the local people to have their own club once again.
At this stage word had got around that Munterconnaught were about to reform and a number of clubs were not too happy as they stood to lose players.
This was particularly true in the case of the Castlerahan GAA club who had about 6 Munterconnaught players playing for them at the time. Castlerahan said they would not sign transfers so Munterconnaught had to put their case for the reformation of the club to a County Board meeting which took place on 3rd February, 1969.
It was an open meeting and after hearing everybody's opinion the Chairman of the County Board, the late T. J O'Reilly, put it to the floor.
Munterconnaught got the backing of 38 club delegates while Castlerahan got the support of 5.
Munterconnaught were back and Seamus Lynch of Munterconnaught and Maghera delegate Dan Daly played a big role in that meeting.
A meeting was then arranged to form a committee and the following officers and committee members were elected:
President: Father Thomas McNiffe
Chairman: Luke Kiernan
Secretary: Paddy McGovern
Treasurer: Liam Hetherton
Vice-Chairman: Patsy Yore
County Board Rep.: Seamus Lynch
Working Committee: Matt Luke Dowd, Hugh Farrelly, Peter Carroll, John Cadden, Charlie Reilly, Paddy Hetherton, Paddy Tuite.
Captain: Mattie Hetherton
Vice-Captain: Donie McEnroe
The first game was against Kill on 16th March, 1969, and the team was selected from the following panel of players:
Pat Connell, Seamus Connell, Jack Hetherton, Mickey Hetherton, Brian Conaty, Mick Plunkett, Tony Mooney, Donie McEnroe, Tom Stanley, James Stanley, Gerry Hetherton, Mattie Hetherton, Aidan O'Dwyer, John Cadden, Jodie Gilsenan, Paddy McCabe, Martin Keoghan, Bertie Brady & Briarn Farrelly.
The Club reached the Junior Champioship Semi Final in 1970 where they lost out to Killeshandra.
The Munchies were back !!
And it wasn't long before they were celebrating again either.
1972 - The Club won the Senior League A title where they defeated Ballinagh by 3 - 04 to 1 - 06.
The Team was: Oliver O'Dwyer, Michael Hetherton, J Hetherton, Michael Plunkett, G Carroll, B Hetherton, O Tighe, Mattie Hetherton, D McEnroe, Gerry Hetherton, John O'Dwyer, Tony O'Dwyer, Jack Stanley,S McMahon, Aidan O'Dwyer.
The Club also reached the Junior Championship Final - only to lose out to Killinkere by 2 points.
1975 - We reached another Junior Championship Final but lost out again, this time to Lavey. This was a big disappointment to the Team but it inspired them to greater things the following year.
The Team was: Oliver O'Dwyer, Michael Hetherton, Tom Plunkett, Larry Tighe, Michael Plunkett, Gerry Carroll, Seamus Kiernan, Owen Tighe, Matt Galligan, Mattie Hetherton, Nobbie McEnroe, Gerry Hetherton, Jack Hetheron, Ollie Stanley, Jack Stanley, Micheal Galligan, Aidan O'Dwyer.
1976 - The defeat in 1975 inspired the team to capture the Junior crown for the first time since 1949 when we defeated Ballinagh by the narrowest of margins - 1 - 09 to 1 - 08.
The Team was: Oliver O'Dwyer, Gerry Carroll, Jack Hetherton, Mickey Hetherton, Seamus Kiernan, Michael Plunkett (Captain), Thomas Plunkett, Jack Stanley, Mattie Hetherton, Matt Galligan, John O'Dwyer, Oliver Stanley, Nobbie McEnroe, Gerry Hetherton, Larry Tighe.
The Club as part of the St. Marys amalgamation with Castlerahan completed an historic double that year by winning the Senior Championship with 12 men from Munterconnaught playing on the winning team. They defeated Ballyhaise in the Final.
The Munterconnaught players who were part of the panel: Mattie Hetherton, Oliver O'Dwyer, Mickey Hetherton, Jack Stanley, Gerry Hetherton, Gerry Carroll, Seamus Kiernan, John O'Dwyer, Jack Hetherton, Michael Plunkett, Oliver Stanley, Matt Galligan.
1980 - The Club won their first Intermediate Championship title by defeating Cuchulainns by 2 - 04 to 0 - 07.
According to the Anglo Celt match report - M. Hetherton and O. Stanley were in commanding form in midfield which laid the foundations for victory.
The Team was: Oliver O'Dwyer, Cyril O'Reilly, Thomas Plunkett, Michael Hetherton, Michael Plunkett, Seamus Kiernan, Eamonn Gillic, Mattie Hetherton, Oliver Stanley, Vivian Connell, Gerry Hetherton, Jack Stanley, Larry Tighe, Matt Galliagan, Gabriel O'Dwyer.
Winning the Intermediate Championship moved the club up to the Senior grade.
The Munchies acquitted themselves well in the top tier, but decided to drop back to Intermediate status for the 1987 championship.
1981 - The Club bought the field in Ryefield which is where the current club facilities and pitch are now. A Park Development Committee was formed with goal of developing a new pitch and Clubrooms. It was decided to name the park after St Bartholomew who is the patron saint of the Parish.
1988 - On the August Bank Holiday Monday, the Club offically opened the new pitch (St Bartholomew's Park) and clubhouse at Ryefield which was the culmination of 7 years hard work.
A monumental day in the histroy of the Club has been achieved after nearly 10 years of hard work and dedication by the committee. Over ₤100,000 had been spent on the purchase and development of the grounds.
As part of the official opening - Cavan played Monaghan (who were Ulster Champions at the time). Cavan defeated Monaghan by 3 - 09 to 0 - 14. Jim Gilsenan and John O'Reilly played for the Cavan Team that day.
1989 - We were defeated in the Junior League Division 3 final when they lost to Cornafean by 0 - 08 to 0 - 04.
The Club reached the Semi Final of the Intermediate Championship - losing out to Denn by 4 points.
1991 - The Club reached the Final of the Intermediate Championship but we lost out to Killeshandra by 0 - 08 to 0 - 06.
The Team was: Enda Brady, Patrick Lynch, Oliver Stanley, Fintan O'Reilly, Mark Carroll, Seamus Kiernan, Declan Hetherton, Jim Gilsenan, John O'Reilly, Enda Yore, John McCabe, Paul Gillic, Val Yore, Cyril O'Reilly, Peter McCabe, Gabriel O'Dwyer, Vivian Connell, John Fitzsimons.
Scorers: Jim Gilsenan 0 - 04, Gabriel O'Dwyer 0 - 01, Enda Yore 0 - 01.
1994 - We captured another Junior crown - the 4th in the Club's history when we defeated Belturbet - Rory O’Moore’s in the final on a score of 0 - 11 to 0 - 07.
The Team was: Enda Brady, Patrick Lynch, Seamus Kiernan, Oliver Stanley, Val Yore (Captain), Mark Carroll, Declan Hetherton, Jim Gilsenan, John O'Reilly, Austin O'Reilly, Paul Gillic, Enda Yore, Mark McGovern, Fintan O'Reilly, Vivian Connell, Keith Geraghty.
Scorers: Fintan O'Reilly 0 - 05, Mark McGovern 0 - 04, Enda Yore 0 - 01, Vivian Connell 0 - 01.
2005 - The Club captured the Division 3 league title when they defeated Shercock after a replay, winning by 2 - 09 to 0 - 05.
This helped offset the disappointment of not gaining promotion to Division 2 this season. The finishing 3rd in their league campaign just 2 points behind second place Kildallan.
The Team was: Terry McCabe; Jamie Hetherton, Donal Heery, Val Yore, Mark Flynn, Peter Cullen, Declan Hetherton, Enda Yore, Danny Nolan, Tommy Brady, Brian Cullen, Michael Brady, Stephen Sheridan, John McCabe, Darragh Carroll.
Subs – Anthony Dunne for E Yore, Brendan Plunkett for D Carroll, Shane O’Reilly for M Brady, Gabriel Dwyer for B Cullen and Dermot O'Reilly for J Hetherton.
2006 - The Senior team reached the Junior final and looked to be heading for the Club's 5th Junior Championship crown when they led by 9 points early in the 2nd half. Swanlinbar fought back to force a replay. The Final score in the 1st match was 1 - 14 each. Swanlinbar went on to defeat us in the replay by 0 - 18 to 0 - 09.
Team: Val Yore, Jamie Hetherton, Donal Heery, Darragh Carroll, Mark Flynn, Peter Cullen, Enda Yore, Declan Hetherton, Danny Nolan, Tommy Brady, Brian Cullen, Michael Brady, Stephen Sheridan, John McCabe, Terry McCabe, Anthony Dunne, Jim Gilsenan, Brendan Plunkett, Shane O’Reilly, Gabriel Dwyer, Dermot O'Reilly.
2010 - This was a season of heartbreak.
The Senior team narrowly missed out on promotion from Division 3 (despite only losing 2 games) and were defeated by Swanlinbar in the Division 3 playoff final.
The team reached the Junior Championship final but lost out to Swanlinbar again on a score of 0 - 16 to 1 - 08.
Team: Shane Roche, Padraig O'Dwyer, Paddy Tuite, Shane O'Reilly, Brendan Plunkett, Stephen Sheridan, James Hetherton, Mark Flynn, Sean Nolan, Thomas Brady, Colm Caffrey, Darragh Carroll, Tadhg Morrissey, Terry McCabe, Peter Cullen, Brian Cullen, John McCabe, Danny Nolan, Jamie Hetherton, Stephen Keogan.
2011 - The 2011 season was one of success and more heartbreak.
The Senior team had a very successful Division 3 campaign when finishing top of the table (only losing 2 games) to achieve promotion to Division 2.
They reached the final of the League playoffs only to be defeated by Mountnugent.
The team reached the Junior Championship final for the 2nd successive year where they suffered defeat again, this time to Shercock on a score of 1 - 10 to 1 - 07.
Team: Darragh Carroll, Niall McEnroe, James Baugh, Jamie Hetherton, Stephen Keogan, Mark Finnegan, Paddy Shortt, Stephen Sheridan, Padraig O'Dwyer, John McCabe, Thomas Brady, Colm Caffrey, Donal Heery, Terry McCabe, Sean Nolan, Peter Cullen, Brian Cullen, Danny Nolan, Shane O'Reilly, Owen Healy, Gary Rock, Brendan Plunkett, Tadhg Morrissey, James Hetherton, Brendan O'Shea, Mark Flynn.
Munterconnaught amalgamated with Ramor Utd as Ramor/Munterconnaught - the team won 3 successive U-21 Division 1 Championships (2008, 2009 & 2010).
2008 - defeated Cavan Gaels
2009 - defeated Belturbet Rory O'Moores by 1 - 09 to 0 - 08.
2010 - defeated Ballinagh-Cornafean by 1 - 17 to 0 - 04.
Past and Present Officers of Munterconnaught GFC
1927 – 1932 Patrick Brady, Ryefield
1933 – 1936 John Galligan, Beherna
1937 – 1942 Michael Keogan, Beherna
1943 – 1946 James Farrelly, Croghan
1947 – 1953 Luke Kiernan, Island
1969 – 1979 Luke Kiernan, Island
1980 John Galligan, Beherna
1981 – 1983 Thomas Hetherton, Carrick
1984 – 1989 Aidan O’Dwyer, Beherna
1990 John O’Dwyer, Cavan
1991 – 1995 Thomas Hetherton, Carrick
1996 – 1999 Val Yore, Knocknaveagh
2000 – 2004 Noel McEnroe, Lurganboy
2005 – 2008 Val Yore, Knocknaveigh
2009 – 2013 Noel McEnroe, Lurganboy
2014 Declan Cooney, Rahardrum
2014 Noel McEnroe, Lurganboy
2015 - Jim Gilsenan, Knocknagarton
1927 – 1932 Matthew McCabe, Knocknaveigh
1933 – 1939 Joseph Gilsenan, Eighter
1940 – 1946 Bartle McEnroe, Croghan
1947 – 1953 Seamus Lynch, Lurganboy
1969 – 1974 Patrick McGovern, Ryefield
1975 – 1976 Owen Tighe, Ryefield
1977 – 1983 Aidan O’Dwyer, Beherna
1984 Thomas Keogan, Beherna
1985 – 1988 Noel McEnroe, Lurganboy
1989 – 1999 Seamus Kiernan, Island
2000 – 2001 Thomas Keogan, Beherna
2002 – 2008 Aidan O’Dwyer, Beherna
2009 – 2014 Aisling Matthews, Carrick
2015 - Anne Daly, Ryefield
1927 – 1933 Pat Gibney, Beherna
1934 – 1938 Patrick Skelly, Beherna
1939 – 1946 Laurence McEnroe, Beherna
1947 – 1953 Matthew Farrelly, Crohan
1969 – 1971 Liam Hetherton, Ballydurrow
1972 – 1981 Laurence McEnroe, Beherna
1981 – 1984 Noel McEnroe, Lurganboy
1985 – 1997 Monica O’Reilly, Island
1997 – 1999 Enda Brady, Beherna
2000 – 2008 Aisling Matthews, Carrick
2009 – 2011 Sean Keogan, Beherna
2012 - 2013 Leo Tuite, Knocknaveigh
2013 - 2014 Paddy Shortt, Ryefield
2015 - Dermot O'Reilly, Island